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BANK OF CEYLON

Introduction During colonial era, Sri Lankas (then known as Ceylon) local businessmen and entrepreneurs used to struggle to get any access to financial services. Bank of Ceylon was started to lend that support and set Sri Lanka on a path of progressive development. It was Sir Ernst de Silva, a Sri Lankan businessman and barrister who founded the Bank of Ceylon in 1939 with a vision to transform the local economy and link it to rest of the world through efficient financial services. Bank of Ceylons first branch started in Colombo in 1941 and after 7 decades it has achieved glaring heights and continues to be Sri Lankas largest financial institution. With asset growth to over Rs 1 trillion, 15 billion rupees net profit in 2012 and a network of over 600 branches, Bank of Ceylon has been consistently registering double digit growth. Over the years it has increased its portfolio to highly diversified services ranging from child saving accounts and farmers loans to corporate banking, Islamic banking, trade finance and merchant banking. Bank of Ceylons distinctive characteristic has been its outreach and the number of lives it touches in Sri Lanka. Bank of Ceylon provided banking services to a staggering 50% of the Sri Lankan population with over 10 million account holders. Bank of Ceylon has evolved various technology driven products and channels to get unbanked areas and population under the ambit of financial services thus playing a major role in equitable development of Sri Lanka and remaining central to its growth story.

Marketing Strategy Employing a thoughtful mix of marketing strategies Bank of Ceylon has been able to position itself as the leading financial institution in Sri Lanka. Being a government owned bank, Bank of Ceylon has been more about nations development and less about profits. Thus it enjoys substantial cost leadership and trust as compared to its competitors. These facts are at the forefront of its marketing campaigns. Banks current slogan Banker to the Nation communicates the absolute leadership it has been exercising in providing financial services to Sri Lankan people. It has been rated AA+ by Fitch, which is the highest rating achieved by a Sri Lankan financial institution. This has amplified the credibility and trust and led to a new Slogan The Bank you can Trust. Apart from these measures, it has initiated a comprehensive CSR campaign which includes investments in livelihood, education and environment protection, further building a sense of ownership and trust.

Advertising & Communication Strategy Bank of Ceylons history, values and heritage have always been highlighted in its advertising campaigns. Commercials along with theme songs were launched in 2010 and 2011 immediately after the civil war which greatly added to the sense of patriotism, loyalty, attachment and portrayed Bank of Ceylon as a national gem; touching lives and rebuilding the country. It has been launching specific campaigns under various services, for example, Cash Remits to target more inward remittances. Ithurum Mahagedera campaign started in 2012 to accelerate savings.The commercials on various services and products put more stress on their effectiveness apart from other features. Bank of Ceylon has been ranked No 1 brand in Sri Lanka for the past 3 years by Brand Finance Network. Its brand value has increased to Rs. 24.5 billion in 2012

from 15.19 billion rupees in 2011 registering an incredible 62% year on year growth. These numbers have in their own way strengthened the banks position in customers minds. Outreach, innovation, stability and trust have been distinguishing features of the Bank of Ceylons communication across all platforms. It has weathered many storms and continues to pursue Sri Lankas dream - The emerging wonder of Asia.